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The Business of Photography

Lesson 10 of 22

Side Lighting

Nigel Barker

The Business of Photography

Nigel Barker

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Lesson Info

10. Side Lighting


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Introduction Duration:12:46
2 The Early Years Duration:24:31
4 Developing Your Style Duration:12:57
5 Creating Your Brand Duration:11:03
6 Confidence Duration:11:20
7 Personal Work Duration:08:21
8 Marketing Duration:12:14
10 Side Lighting Duration:08:30
11 Hollywood Lighting Duration:10:27
12 Dancer Lighting Duration:08:50
13 Editorial Lighting Duration:09:06
14 Tunnel of Light Duration:12:24
15 Back Light Duration:06:09
16 Image Review Duration:06:03
18 Connection Duration:09:31
19 Provoking Reaction Duration:11:11
21 Raw Series - Image Review Duration:08:57
22 Image Critique Duration:1:01:29

Lesson Info

Side Lighting

So, I asked Rhonda to sort of wear this, sort of, casual clothes, keep it simple. This is more about the lighting. We're kinda going in this denim kinda feel look, so, that's it's not necessarily about the fashions, we can really concentrate on the way we light these pictures up. By the way, I probably over spoke, talked to much, rather, in the last piece, so we didn't get a chance for you guys to have questions, and I know some of you have some questions for me, so I think we can feel free to ask me a few questions as we're sort of setting up and getting ready and doing some light readings, and what have you. So, I'm gonna start, and if you guys have any questions, like, you had a question, didn't you? You wanna take control here? Let's get, let's keep going and then we'll see when they're appropriate. Alrighty. So, this situation is a very simple light setup. We got two banks here. Normally, I would do this with one, but you know what? If you don't, I didn't have two, I didn't ha...

ve one this size, I couldn't get a hold of it, so it's not like, "Okay, how am I gonna make it happen then?" So, we actually just stuck two banks together. We've got two heads. As I said, I would normally use one, but one of the things I do like to do is when I put a grid set on a softbox, is actually peel it off and have half of it gridded and the other half open. You know, I learned early on that there are all these rules in photography. This is how you do this. This is how you do that. Light it this way. Aim it this direction. Put, place the model in the middle, so that the light hits directly. As soon as you learn all that, the most fun thing is, is realizing that you just, you're gonna tear all that up. I'm gonna like, actually, I'm gonna do half of this, gonna half light that, gonna bounce the light off the wall, and that's how I'm gonna light her. I'm gonna, I'm gonna control the light. I'm gonna own this light, and you make it your own. I love this type of, this scenario, and I've used it in my, not in my royal series, but I used it in my pregnant nude series a lot. In large part because the light itself is very emotional, this type of lighting. It creates a very, kind of, dramatic light off the front, and there's darkness in the background, and we'll get a picture of Rhonda right now. Step forward a little bit. Do we have a taped marker where Rhonda should be yet? We don't. Okay. And by the way, I've not tested this yet, so this is really in the minute. I've not shot a picture of her already to see what the light's gonna look like. So, we're gonna see how this works. And I am, so you know, I have an ISO 400, shutter speed is 160, and I'm at F11. Alrighty. I'm gonna step her back a little bit, and actually turn towards, right into that. Yeah, almost like that. I love it. You know what? I'm not a big fan of shooting with my jacket on. (laughing) Here we go. Now, I gotta roll up my sleeves, I think, too. Keeping it real here, people. (laughing) Just a moment, but, by the way, this is the only thing that's coming off. (laughing) Alrighty. Here we go. I get, I get people laugh at me because of my stance, but I do this to, I've always been like this. I've always done this. Probably because I'm so tall, I think I have to come down lower. And it's occupational hazard, but it also helps me lock in the camera, which isn't so important when you're in studio, but when you're on location and shooting with really long exposure, it helps. I always, normally shoot when I breathe out. It's, again, one of things that I just do. Almost look at the side of this light right there. Beautiful there. (camera clicks) Beautiful. Very simple. Very relaxed, and in it you can see how just the lighting alone is creating a kind of an emotion and an atmosphere. The white cyc is gone completely gray, very dark, and there's a story in the light. Which is always great, right? So, that helps me. If this is the story I want to tell, and I'm thinking, "Okay, I wanna do something kinda dramatic "with Rhonda," and if you, if I could just created a story for her, that's the thing you can do, you can say, "Okay, with this lighting, "I'm gonna be dramatic. "It's gonna be mellow "It's gonna be sad," or it could be screaming. It could be, there could be a lot of action in the picture. (camera clicking) Let's introduce a little bounce as well. Twist your body slightly that way. There ya go. (camera clicking) So, we're getting just this little kick. This little shine. It's just picking up on the outside there. It's super elegant. There's a sort of, this particular lighting, and it's very simple, right? This could be done with one head, by the way, I know I've got two here, but it could be one. It's almost, has a sort of a regal feel to it. And this is, this very simple light setup is used on editorial shoots for covers on a regular basis. You think you're gonna have to have this huge, elaborate light setup, also huge space, and massive studios, which I often work in, but nine times out of 10, I find myself all the way up against the model, up against the wall, in the corner. So, don't feel that you need to have these massive spaces to do these sorts of things. And also, there's just the two of us working as far as Toby and I. I like having an assistant, that's someone to help me, but I obviously started with out it. So, when Toby wasn't here, and I didn't have a Toby, I would put a stand, or I would balance it on books, or I would do what I could to have someone try and help and it's awkward, it's not perfect, but it's doable. I'm just saying these things 'cause people often say, "I don't have someone," or, "I don't have this," or, "I don't have that." And if I didn't have a scrim, I would use a piece of paper. I used to hang sheets down, my bed sheets, white bed sheets, whatever it was to, a pillowcase. Even now, today, my favorite reflector isn't one that I bought, it's one that I made, and we have several of them. Right, Tobs? And they're just bits of card, bits of polystyrene wrapped in foil, and that I've taped up, and some of them are really small 'cause that way I can get in, Toby can get in, and just light up here, or just hit an element of what she's wearing to just tell that bit of the story right there. And I'm using, by the way, a 24 to 70 millimeter lens, which is my go to. As much as a I love the prime lenses, and I do often use them because I move around so much. I like to be able to zoom in and zoom out and they're so good these days that, quite frankly, I use this probably, what do ya reckon, Toby? 95% of the time. 95, shh. No, I don't. That's not true. And that's the last question I ask him, by the way. But, yeah, like 95% of the time. Nice right there. (camera clicking) Gorgeous (camera clicking) I think I'm seeing ya in the back, Tobs. Gimme a silver on that, too, now. (camera clicking) Get real tight. (camera clicking) What we're gonna be doing in our next class is I'm gonna be showing you how I talk to the models, as well. And, specifically, on this one I just really wanna show you lighting and because I've worked with Rhonda already, we kinda built a chemistry and a relationship up, so there's a sort of an understanding. And, that's one of the great things about working with someone who you've already shot, right, is because there is that natural chemistry and it's a trust. The trust is very important with your subject. They trust you. They'll look at you, and the look in her eyes, it's amazing. And then sometimes when there is those moments, you have to also know when not to speak, and know when not to talk. It's just as important 'cause you can break a moment as well. Let's change this light setup. Let's move on.

Class Description

“Think Big, Dream Bigger” - that’s the philosophy that internationally renowned photographer Nigel Barker has lived by his whole career. Join Nigel on CreativeLive as he shares how to make your dreams become reality.

Nigel will discuss his journey as a photographer and will teach through the moments that he learned from that ultimately led to his success. From developing your style, creating a brand, owning your confidence and going after and getting jobs, Nigel will help you become a successful photographer while still being yourself. In the class you’ll learn how to:

  • Create your brand by establishing who you are
  • Present yourself to the client so that they understand your style and abilities
  • Build a library of work for marketing your business
  • Use lighting to create emotion
  • Connect with your models and break the wall of posing

Be a fly on the wall as Nigel does a live shoot and shares his knowledge about equipment, environment, and how to work with models. And he’ll end the day with a live critique and discuss the best ways to use your images to present yourself to your clients and customers. By the end of this class, you’ll have the tools to set yourself up for success.


Michael Spatola

This is one of my favorite Creative Live classes so far. The storytelling and human interaction parts were my favorites! The ability for Nigel to get such amazing expressions in such a brief time shooting was amazing. Everything he demonstrated seemed almost effortless, and all without a shred of ego. Great class!

Margaret Lovell

Nigel is a wonderfully engaging instructor. I like that he walks his students through his photoshoots. The set ups. How to interact with the models. Even though there are a couple of genres I'm most active in, I appreciate that Nigel says that you can have different photographic interests, so long as you brand yourself properly. I like taking photos of lots of things, although my outdoor photos generate the most interest. I highly recommend all of Nigel's classes.

a Creativelive Student

Passion, personal, inspiring! Nigel, thanks for amazing class and a lot of great advices.